Milk is a fluid secreted by the female mammals to feed their younglings for a period that begins soon after birth. Animal milk is also an important source of food for humans, either as fresh or processed dairy products such as butter and cheese. Milk proteins have a high nutritional content for a healthy diet because they contain all the essential amino acids — that is, those that babies cannot synthesize in the required quantity on their own. The mineral content of milk includes calcium and phosphorus in sufficient quantities for normal bone development, but less iron. Milk contains B vitamins and a small amount of vitamins C and D.
Commercial cow’s milk is commonly enriched with vitamins D and A before the sale. In 2012, the largest producer of dairy and dairy products was India followed by the U.S.A, China, Pakistan, and Brazil. All 28 members of the European Union combined, produced 153.8 million tons of milk in 2013, the most by any politically economic union. In 2019, India consumed the most cow milk worldwide, drinking over 77.7 million metric tons. The next largest consumption of milk was in the European Union, at 33.4 million metric tons. Cow milk production has increased slightly over the past half-decade, hovering around 500 million metric tons each year. The European Union produced the most cow milk in 2019, with the United States in second at 99 million metric tons generated.
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